Teenage athletes from the Washington area brought home gold, silver and bronze medals in fencing, gymnastics, soccer and lacrosse from the 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Ellie Cowen, 15, of Rockville, won gold with the female junior lacrosse team.
“It was an incredible feeling to win gold,” she said in an email from Israel. “It was amazing to be able to come together with 13 other girls and achieve something so memorable.”
The Maccabiah brought together 10,000 athletes from 80 countries to compete in 45 events ranging from baseball and
gymnastics to karate and golf. Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia sent 66 athletes to compete.
Beth Ellinport, 17, of Gaithersburg, won a gold medal with the female junior soccer team.
Sam Cohen, 17, of Kensington, won a silver medal in junior division fencing while representing Japan. He also won a gold medal fencing on a team with the American delegation.
Ronni Binstock, 16, of Severna Park, was captain of the open division
female gymnastics team. She won two individual silver medals for the all-around and balance beam categories, and two bronze medals for floor exercise and vault. The American gymnasts won a silver medal as a team.
Reuben Winston, 18, of Potomac, placed sixth overall in the open division half-marathon.
“The race itself was brutal,” he said during a telephone interview from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where some events were held. “I have never experienced anything like that.”
The course was challenging, he said, because it was hilly — the altitude changed nearly 1,000 feet during the course of the run — and because of the heat. The temperature was 83 degrees despite the race being held at night.
At press time, American athletes and teams had won of 209 medals across the junior, open and master divisions, according to the Maccabiah’s website.